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My NPR adventure: Talking Fall TV, from the low of Fox's Dads to the highs of Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Brooklyn Nine-Nine debuts at 8:30 tonight on Fox.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine debuts at 8:30 tonight on Fox.



One of the most fun elements of my work with NPR has been recording what we call “2 ways” – or the slightly structured conversations with show anchors centered on a certain subject.

On Monday, NPR aired a 2 way between me and Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep, in which we had loads of fun talking about the start of network TV’s fall season and one of its particularly disappointing trends: the crotchety, dysfunctional older parent.



There are at least six different new shows built around these kinds of characters, from Beau Bridges and Margo Martindale’s divorcing senior citizens on CBS’ The Millers to James Caan’s impossibly crusty ex-ballpayer on ABC’s Back in the Game.

And, of course, there Fox’s Dads, which has drawn ire for hitting a bad TV hat trick: it’s a clunky comedy trapping accomplished performers such as Peter Riegert and Martin Mull; it’s based on stereotypical and predictably dysfunctional dad characters who are an embarrassment to their much cooler adult children; and its salted with sexist and borderline racist jokes about Latinas and Asians.

Lots of stuff here me and Steve to have fun lampooning, and we certainly didn’t hold back (I was gratified to see an ace journalist like Mr. Inskeep adopt a motto from Fox’s excellent comedy debuting tonight, Brooklyn Nine-Nine: “Put down the yo-yo and step away from the girl.”)

 You gotta hear it to get it. So click below and check it out.

[Last modified: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 12:59pm]


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